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Gameday preview: Buffalo at Wild

  • January 1, 2014 - 9:04 PM

wild gameday

7 P.M. VS. buffalo • xcel energy CENTER • FSN, 100.3-FM

Preview: The only road team worse than the Wild and the only lower-scoring road team invades the X. The Sabres are 3-13-2 away from home and have one regulation road win all season; they are 0-8-2 on the road since Nov. 5, including 0-6-2 under new coach Ted Nolan. The Wild, without a regulation win since Dec. 8, has lost six in a row in regulation for the first time in team history and is 5-12-1 in its past 18 games. Former Sabres captain Jason Pominville scored the winning goal in a 2-1 Wild win at Buffalo on Oct. 14.

Players to watch: F Jason Zucker was recalled for the fifth time this season and fourth since Nov. 20. He has no points in his past 17 NHL regular-season games. He has eight goals and 13 points in 22 games for AHL Iowa. D Ryan Suter has goals in back-to-back games and has picked up a point in nine of his past 10 games. C Mikko Koivu has six points in the past seven games and is minus-9. Sabres G Ryan Miller is 10-17-1 with a .927 save percentage. C/LW Johan Larsson, a Wild 2010 second-round pick who went to Buffalo in the Pominville trade, was recalled Wednesday and will play his second career game at Xcel Energy Center.

Numbers: The Sabres are 30th in the NHL at 1.23 goals per game on the road and 30th with 1.65 goals per game overall. The Wild ranks 29th at 2.19 goals per game overall. … The Wild is 12-4-5 in one-goal games. Ten of the Wild’s past 12 wins are by one goal.

Injuries: Wild D Clayton Stoner (lower body) practiced Wednesday and is questionable. D Jon Blum was reassigned to Iowa. LW Zach Parise (broken foot) is out. Sabres C Cody Hodgson (finger), C Cody McCormick (upper body), F Kevin Porter (undisclosed) and D Henrik Tallinder (upper body) are out. F Ville Leino (lower body) is questionable.

MICHAEL RUSSO

© 2014 Star Tribune